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Opinion Trailer Ranking ALL Mainline HALO Games From Worst To Best

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that without Halo, console shooters and the Xbox brand wouldn't exist as they do now (if at all). And though Microsoft's beloved series has certainly had its fair share of ups and downs, it's still around, and it's still Xbox's biggest tentpole franchise.

Later this year, we'll get to see what the future holds for it with Halo Infinite, but before that, here, we're going to take a look at its past and rank all of its mainline entries from worst to best.

For me, Halo CE and Halo 3 are the best. And the worst are halo 4 and halo 5
 

Kuranghi

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I liked 2 but its basically a remake of CE, 3 I had a bad time with due to malfunctioning AI at the time so that soured the whole experience at one point, but I still can't be sure it wasn't just my own retardation so I'm going to replay 1-3 in the MCC as soon as they fix all the issues, nearly there!

I was so excited about that CE fix they pushed recently that nearly brought it up to the OG game standards but still a bit more work must be done to get even just the old experience but made with modern HW in mind. I don't even care about texture upscaling and such, just give me something thats on par with the OG experience, fixing the bumpmapping, audio and skyboxes recently went a long way but there are still some niggles.

I'm watching and waiting...

Organize Black Cat GIF by Industrial Workers of the World
 

Kuranghi

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CE > Reach > Parts of 3. Those are the only essential titles.

I still never played Reach as well so I'm really excited to get to that, I should play it after 3 right? I prefer to play games via system/gameplay progression, not that bothered about story order at this point since I already know the story and Reach came after 3 anyway.
 

anthony2690

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Halo 5
Halo 4
Halo reach
Halo 3
Halo 2 (MCC version)
Halo 1

I honestly think the gameplay, environments/gun fights/multiplayer are much better in the newer 343 games, the older titles as much as I loved them when I was younger are pretty rough to go back too, especially the level design.

I can't wait for infinite :)
Hopefully story is conveyed better in the games, halo wars 2 did quite a good job.
 

[Sigma]

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They got no.1 right at least. They've been chasing after Halo 3's magic ever since.
 
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CuNi

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what exactly are we Rating? Gameplay? Story? Both?
Because story wise, H4 and H5 had one of the worst plots, but they are in the top 3 when it comes to gameplay for sure.

For story, my list is
H1 - ODST - H3 - Reach - H2 - H4 - H5

For gameplay it is
H5 - H4 - H3 - Reach - ODST - H2 - H1

Though I guess the difference in gameplay is very close as most of them were awesome at the time they released.
 
Apr 6, 2015
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Personally

Reach = 3 > ODST > CE > 2 > 4 > 5

That is taking everything in account: Gameplay, story, atmosphere, multiplayer. 3 is a better game then Reach, but Reach has a tone and atmosphere that is amazing (same with ODST) and it made me engaged and care about what happened in a story that I already knew the ending of.
 

Remij

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I just recently replayed all of them, and I think I'd rate them as such:

Halo 3, Halo Reach, Halo CE, Halo 4, Halo 2, Halo ODST

(Never played Halo 5 to completion)

I really didn't care for ODST's environment and samey stuff repeated over and over again. I know that all the games in the series have this to some extent (the library in CE.. ugh) but ODST was just the least interesting in that sense. I did like the later half more than the beginning though.
 
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Aldynes

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What do we take into consideration for the ranking, are we talking about overall experience with each game? Only campaign? It's get complicated very quickly if you do that, I'd say The Act Man on Youtube got you covered on both questions if you want a good ranking, this one is for the multiplayer.

For me after having replayed all of them these past weeks, it's very fresh in my mind, it'll be easier to give my opinion (campaign only) it goes like this Halo 1 > 3 > OSDT > REACH > 2 > 4 > 5.

I'll just say one thing that never got mentioned, am I the only one who hated the inclusion of ragdolls Halo 2 onward ? It's jank as hell, we had perfect animations in the first Halo, the feedback of seing a grunt do a backflip or a Elite collapsing after a headshot is just unparalleled in the franchise, REACH is the only game that somewhat justified it by having grunts who can get rocketed when shooting their contraption in the back and by puncturing it they get tossed in the air and fly all over the place.

And what about the extreme LOD (level of detail) pop-ups from 3 feets in Halo 2, who prefer this to Halo 1 graphics? It even misses the shadows that gave depth to every object/corpse in the first game.

Taking into consideration the impact each game had for the medium as a whole, it's very hard not to discuss them in length to explain everything.
 

Graciaus

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Single - Reach > 3 > odst > 2 > 1 > 4 > 5
Multi - 3 > 2 > vanilla reach > 4 > 5 > 1

TU Reach is unplayable. Vanilla 4 is trash but pro settings are dumb unbalanced fun.
 
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AJUMP23

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I would still put the experience of Combat Evolved at the top.

I loved the multiplayer in 3 and 5. Three was a great single-player pay off as well.

CE
3
REACH
ODST
5
2
4
 

fatmarco

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Aug 3, 2020
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In hindsight I realised I didn't really like Halo 3, as far as single player goes.

In comparison to 2 it was such a massive narrative and cinematic downgrade. From the terrible dialogue to the cartoony animation and simply horrific character models, it makes it really hard to appreciate its story. The guns also feel incredibly weak, with really poor sound effects and the visuals don't hold up outside of the great "HDR" lighting.

It's pre-release marketing was godly and the hype building up to it was incredible which I think has skewed peoples perceptions as to the quality of the actual game.

Halo 1 and 2 I find hard to choose between, but I'd say 2, 1, ODST, 3, Reach, 4, and 5.
 
May 10, 2018
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Campaign Rankings:
Halo Reach > Halo 3 > Halo 2 > Halo 4 > Halo CE > Halo 5

Multiplayer Rankings:
Halo 3 > Halo 2 > Halo 5 > Halo Reach > Halo 4
 

DEAD ORIGINAL

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Oct 7, 2020
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Campaign Halo™3>CE>2>Reach
MP offline Halo 2 Link up
MP online Halo 3>>Halo 2 too many hackers. Also hated Reach MP Armour abilities ruined it for me especially Armour Lock.

All 343 games are shit.

Al see also the ranking system on Halo 2 and 3 was brilliant hope they bring it back, maybe make it reset every season.
 
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Tg89

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CE > 3 > ODST > 2>>>>>>>>>>>>>5>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>4
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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The Halo series has been around for 20 years now, which is kind of crazy for some of us to think about. There are people out there, right now, who were born after Halo started and are now adults and look back on the first few games like relics from an ancient civilization. As with any series that's been consistently getting releases for that long, the Halo series has undergone a lot of sweeping changes to its gameplay, narrative, and visuals. While the visuals of even the oldest game can still hold up fairly well compared to most other games released around the same time, there is no denying that it’s gotten a lot better over the years.

The history of Halo’s graphics is one that spans from the sixth generation of consoles and will eventually include the current generation assuming the upcoming Halo Infinite hits its current goal of releasing later this year, so with that there is quite a bit of history here. So, in light of that and the upcoming newest release, now is as good a time as any to take a look at just how far the series has come from a visual standpoint.
 

01011001

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Campaign:
Reach > 3 > 1 > ODST > 2 > 5

Multiplayer:
3 > Reach > 2A > 2 > 5 > 1

and isn't it weird how they skipped from 3 straight to 5? what is it with Microsoft and their skipping numbers, so weird
 
Aug 29, 2007
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Excluding the campaign which was pretty good, I have such bitter feelings toward H3. The pistol is such hot garbage in H3 and the BR spread is horrendous. I also was never a big fan of Halo 3's graphics. I remember seeing the multiplayer for the first time and thinking that looks pretty bland. Then there was the fact that players in vehicles were next to unstoppable. It all led to a very bad taste. Still, despite that, I despise Reach even more. Bloom, sprint, armor lock, and the sluggish and less than floaty movement just ruined the entire experience for me. Oh and then 343 made the pistol a 5 shot kill weapon in Reach, which was just asinine. The only way for it to be effective was to fire it as rapidly as possible, which was pointless thanks to bloom. Getting a double kill with the pistol was challenging with only 12 rounds. Like what's the point? (Obviously i have very strong feelings regarding the pistol lol). One of the only good things that came out of Reach for me was the needle rifle and of course the pro-pipe.

Then there was H4. H4 matchmaking was so smooth. Movement and aiming were perfect. Weapons felt great... only to be completely ruined by horrible abilities, perks and random ordnance. Otherwise I would have totally put H4 up with H1 and H2. Honestly, it could have been that great, up there with the best Halo games in the series. Reeeeee!!!!!

Campaign: H1>H4=H3>ODST>H2>Reach>>>>>>>>>>>>>H5
Multiplayer: H1>H2>H5>H3>Reach=H4>ODST
 

grfunkulus

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Dec 23, 2016
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In hindsight I realised I didn't really like Halo 3, as far as single player goes.

In comparison to 2 it was such a massive narrative and cinematic downgrade. From the terrible dialogue to the cartoony animation and simply horrific character models, it makes it really hard to appreciate its story. The guns also feel incredibly weak, with really poor sound effects and the visuals don't hold up outside of the great "HDR" lighting.

It's pre-release marketing was godly and the hype building up to it was incredible which I think has skewed peoples perceptions as to the quality of the actual game.

Halo 1 and 2 I find hard to choose between, but I'd say 2, 1, ODST, 3, Reach, 4, and 5.
Lul wat? Sure, the human faces were butt but H2's pop in alone makes it really hard to appreciate in it's original form. The H3 assault rifle sounded awful (play the modded steam version for what it should've sounded like). But the massive detail upgrade (textures weren't ass-tastic like in 2 and though sub 720p, were enough to bring some of the wow of the first game). The H3 BR is unpopular because it's not hit scan but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel incredible to shoot when things are going your way. Oh, and the H3 sniper is god tier in sound and looks. H2 sniper looks and feels like a toy in comparison. Oh, and Chief's model holds up today. The theater mode was amazing because the fidelity in multiplayer was SUCH a generational leap.
 
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Vtecomega

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Just recently played through the entire series.

From best to worst

1- Halo 3 - It has the highest highs but lowest lows.

2 - Halo Reach - A more gritty scaled back version of halo 3.

3 - Halo 2 Anniversary - The visuals and sound really elevate this. It's a whole new experience. If it wasn't for bullshit snipers and dreadful brute fights this would be higher on the list.

4 - Halo CE: Incredible first half then it turns to shit half way through. Constant repeated level design and fighting the flood was a complete chore.

5 - Halo 4: A cheap imitation of the halo formula. Halo 4 and 5 could be interchanged. Basically Halo from AliExpress.
 

TheGrat1

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Seeing all of these people put 3's campaign over 2's makes me really scratch my head.

Ya'll really loved all that backtracking, huh?
 

GuinGuin

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I enjoyed playing them co-op with my girlfriend. I enjoyed Army of Two more though. A shame that series died.
 
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Single Player
Halo CE / Anniversary
Halo 3
Halo Reach
Halo 3 ODST
Halo 2 / Anniversary
Halo 4
Halo 5

Multi Player
Halo 5
Halo 3
Halo Reach
Halo 2 / Anniversary
Halo CE
Halo 4
 
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4 > 5 > 2 > 3 > 1 > Reach > ODST

yeah i ain't a big fan of the Bungie games. didn't play them when they came out so no nostaglia for me. I prefer the 343 games over Bungie.
 
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Vtecomega

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4 > 5 > 2 > 3 > 1 > Reach > ODST

yeah i ain't a big fan of the Bungie games. didn't play them when they came out so no nostaglia for me. I prefer the 343 games over Bungie.

Out of curiosity, is there a reason why you dislike the Bungie games?
 

Stuart360

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STILL havent played Halo 4 or 5 yet, even though i own the MCC. All the negativity around them have put me off for now, i will get to them at some point, Halo 4 anyway.
As for the games i have played, it goes in order for me -

1. Halo: CE
2. Halo 2
3. Halo 3
4. Halo ODST
5. Halo Reach.
 
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